Deferring or delaying school entry - long term considerations

If your child was born premature and you decide to defer or delay when your child starts school, find out more about the long term considerations.

Deferring

Learning in the reception class, which has a more play-centred curriculum, can be very important for your child at this early stage in their development.

Joining an already established year group at a later time than most of the other children in their class could be difficult for your child. In some cases, social circles and friendships will have already started to take shape. 

Delaying

If, at a later date, you feel that your child is ready to join their chronological age group, some schools or local authorities may not allow this.

The Advice on the admission of summer born children 2014 says that the headteacher may feel it is best for the child to rejoin their chronological age group at a later stage, and they can make this change if there are sound educational reasons for doing so. 

While parents will be closely consulted, the final decision will rest with the headteacher. Parents can complain but have no right to appeal if they disagree with the decision.

You may be asked to sign a contract stating that you will not be allowed to start legal action against the admission authority at a later date if you are unhappy with your child’s progress.
All statutory assessments will take place in the child’s ‘adopted’ year group.

When your child changes school (for example, moving up to secondary school), you may have to apply to delay again as this doesn’t necessarily move with your child. Some admission authorities may require that your child goes straight into their chronological age group.

At the age of 16, your child will be legally allowed to leave school. This is the school year that most children sit their GCSEs. While the school will continue to receive funding for your child in year 11, your child cannot be forced to attend.

Support

While delaying school entry can be a difficult experience, it can have massive benefits to the child. 

Read one mum’s positive experience of successfully delaying her child’s entry to school (ADD LINK)

If you would like to contact parents who have been through the experience of delaying or deferring their child’s school entry, please call the Bliss Helpline or post on our message board

Deferring or delaying school entry - long term considerations

Ella had to cope with developmental struggles. Despite warnings, we felt it was best for her to start school in the year she would have been in, based on due date. Deferring or delaying school entry - long term considerations

Tiffany, mum to Ella

The information on this page is more than two years old